Nick Hukezalie is the chef de cuisine at Blue Hill, New York, which is where executive chef and owner Dan Barber launched the WastED pop-up in 2015, starting a worldwide movement aimed at eradicating food waste. Hukezalie, a native of Canada who cooked at top-rated restaurants in Belgium and Holland before coming to the states, continues the mission to reduce the amount of scraps in the kitchen — and now you can too. We reached out to Hukezalie for a recipe that answers the question, “What do you do with kale rib once you cut the leaves away from it?” The rising star chef responded with this, an ingenious root-to-leaf recipe that’s also delicious.
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 4 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 quart whole milk
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- Grill sauce, (optional)
- 2 carrots, peeled and halved
- 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 parsnips, peeled and halved
- 1 celery root, small, peeled, halved and cut into 1/3-inch-slices
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
For the sauce
Char vegetables on a grill or under a broiler until evenly colored, but not overly blackened. Allow veggies to cool. Chop coarsely, and put in pot and cover with vegetable stock. Simmer for 1 hour.
Pour stock through strainer, pressing vegetables to get out as much juice as possible (the vegetables should not be mashed through the strainer). Reduce infused vegetable stock until it thickens and the color turns dark. Season with salt and 1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar.
For the kale rice
In one motion, pull leaves from kale ribs by grabbing leaf at wide base end and pulling down to the thin end. Gently peel the thick end of the kale ribs until they are uniform and the tough fibers are gone (once around should be fine).
Cut into even pieces (⅓ inch). Blanch kale rib-rice in boiling salted water until tender (2 minutes), then shock in ice water and drain and dry completely.
For the chopped kale
Blanch kale leaves in boiling water after kale rib-rice until they are tender but not mushy. Shock in ice water and drain: squeeze leaves in a towel to remove as much liquid as possible (if the leaves have too much moisture left in them they will bleed out, making soup not risotto!) Chop leaves until they are uniform and quite fine.
For the parsnip puree
Cover parsnips in milk and cook until the milk comes up to a heavy simmer. Season with salt. Pull from heat. Let parsnips sit in milk, covered until tender. Put in blender on high until very smooth: thin with more milk as needed to allow puree to spin.
For the finish
Sweat shallots in pan, add kale rice and chicken stock, season. Add parsnip puree, garlic puree, creme fraiche, chopped kale. Adjust consistency with stock: risotto should hold its shape but gently fall flat when shaken in the pan.
Season with lemon juice, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls. Spoon grill sauce around risotto.